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Friday, September 6, 2013

                    I am still alive!

Just in case anyone was beginning to wonder about me, I am still here, lol!

Surgery was 8/27 and everything went fine despite me being a much higher risk than the average patient.  It took about 2 and 1/2 hours then I spent a couple hours in the recovery room before being whisked off to my suite...uh, room.  I was not allowed a sip of water, not even an ice chip until more than 24 hours later when I had my leak test.  That was really hard.  You are given those little spongy things that are on a stick that you can moisten your lips and tongue with but you are told that if you feel any water in your mouth to spit it out and not swallow!!  Who cared about food, I just wanted moisture.  The leak test was an experience, if you've ever had a test for a hiatal hernia or to look at your esophagus it is just like that.  You have to drink this incredibly horrible tasting stuff that makes barium seem like fine wine.  This stuff smells like floor wax and the technician and I decided it tastes like what we would imagine floor wax tastes like.  NASTY!  Then they scan you for any leaks.  All was fine and when I got back to my room I was cleared to start having liquids.  You are still on a clear liquid diet and the menu you use to call room service is pretty funny in my book.  You can choose from a variety of herbal teas, 3 kinds of low-sodium broth (chicken, beef or vegetable) and sugar-free jello.  You can really add variety to your life by choosing a different tea and a different broth each time.  Jello was pretty much one flavor available. Red.  Which really isn't a flavor but you get my drift.

The nurses and staff at Parker Adventist Hospital were awesome.  I have been in many different hospitals and it has been my experience that when you ring for a nurse be prepared to wait. Well, every time I rang someone would answer immediately and after I told them what I needed there was someone there to help me immediately.  My doctor and his staff were there everyday and I felt really cared about.  My niece, Amber, came one day and brought my daughter, Shannon.  I sat in the chair and we played the board game, Sequence, it was a nice change of pace and helped a lot to pass the time.

I went home on 8/29 and was so happy to be able to sleep in my own bed.  Hubby was mighty glad, too.  Except for the year he was in Viet Nam, it has been a rare night for us to not be together and he said there was just something wrong with the bed without me in it.  Of course, I was thinking,
"Yeah, it has some room in it!"

I came home with a drain as it seems many bariatric patients do.  It is not comfortable and it is not pretty but you deal with it.  At first I was having to empty the little receptacle (which looks like a clear, plastic grenade) several times a day but now it has slowed down to about once a day and even then it isn't very full.  You have to keep a log of when you empty it and how much was in it to take back to the doctor when you have it removed.

Food wise, I am still on the liquid diet until the middle of next week.  The only really new and kind of different thing I have added is strained 98% Fat-free cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup made with skim milk, however, it tastes wonderful.  You will find you are sick of things that are sweet.  Did I really say that?  It's true, shakes, jello, crystal light, flavored water, all of them are sweet and so the slightly salty, savory taste of hot (well, at least pretty warm) soup tastes really good. 

Be prepared to not really care much if you put anything in your new little stomach.  You aren't hungry or you don't feel like you want anything so you have to make it your mission to get some protein into your body.  My surgeon requires 60-80 grams daily and it is tough.  He doesn't recommend that you start on the vitamin regimen for a week or so as you heal so it is doubly important that you push yourself to get some protein in your body.  You will be tired and weak just from the trauma of surgery so don't make it any worse.  I won't lie to you, I am struggling to do it.  Yesterday my protein total ended up being 59 grams and that was a concerted effort.  I am finding I just want to have something that I can really chew.  Try chewing jello, lol!  It doesn't really work. 

I am not complaining, I am not sorry I did this, I just want this blog to be helpful and honest and it won't be if I pretend all is fine and dandy.  I still have some pain, I don't have any energy but I am looking forward to that turning around soon.  Oh and it is a good thing I don't freak out easily because I got on my scale the day after coming home and I was up 8 pounds from my pre-op weight, 8 pounds!  But I knew it was just fluids and as I have emptied that drain over and over and watched the scale start coming down it has proven to be true.

Drum roll, please.  My weight on 4/29/13 was 245, my weight today 9/6/13 was 215.8.  I had lost 25 pounds pre-op and now the scale is starting to move and 4 more pounds have left me.

Long post today but I needed to catch up.  See you all soon!

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